Launch of a Revolutionary SDD - X-Max Extreme
10 August 2015

Oxford Instruments, a world leader in microanalysis systems, has launched X-Max Extreme, a Silicon Drift Detector that promises to be a breakthrough solution for ultra high resolution FEG and FIB-SEM applications. This unique detector for the first time enables EDS data collection at very low kV (e.g. between 1kV and 3kV) and a very short working distance to provide elemental analysis under the conditions used to analyse nano-materials and surfaces at the highest SEM resolution.

The latest ultra-high resolution FEG-SEMs offer exciting new capabilities for investigating smaller nano-structures, interfaces and surfaces. However, under the operating conditions used to make use of new electron signal contrasts from in-lens detectors - very short working distance, very low kV and minimal beam current - no traditional SDD could provide supporting elemental characterisation. The new X-Max Extreme changes this. X-Max Extreme is based on a windowless 100mm2 detector; it uses a radical geometry to enable data acquisition under short working distance. With X-Max Extreme, both imaging and EDS performance can be performed simultaneously and the EDS resolution approaches that of the SEM.

According to X-ray Business Manager, Dr. Simon Burgess, “X-Max delivers solutions beyond conventional micro- and nano- analysis.  For example, the sensitivity of the Extreme allows users to characterise the composition and distribution of surface contaminants and layers a few atoms thick. It also provides superb detection of light elements, including lithium.”

X-Max Extreme was launched at M&M 2015 in Portland, Oregon in August, where it was demonstrated on the show floor.